03/28/13

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network is looking for new volunteers across North Carolina

Are you intrigued by weather? Do you ever wonder how much rain you actually received? If so, join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) and volunteer to collect precipitation in your own backyard to the benefit of you and many others! CoCoRaHS is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers of all ages in all fifty states to help collect data to supplement existing observations.

You will simply set up your gauge and observe and record precipitation and weather patterns in your area that will then be recorded by you on the CoCoRaHS website. This information will be available in “real-time” to a wide range of end users including The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, city utility departments, USDA, emergency managers, engineers, farmers, teachers, students, and your neighbors in order to assist in the prediction of certain weather occurrences, such as flash flooding, hail, or storm warnings.

North Carolina was the 21st state to establish the CoCoRsHS back in 2007 and by 2010 all 50 states were participating, with thousands of observations being reported each day. The reporting of your data takes as little as 5 minutes but the benefits are far-reaching! If you’re enthusiastic about weather observation, visit the CoCoRaHS website and join the network of volunteers. To participate, you must register, obtain an official 4 inch rain gauge (which can be purchased on the CoCoRaHS website for about $30), and take the online training module. Once you’re all set up, start observing and reporting!


03/25/13

Coming Soon to a Village Near You! Hatteras Island Ocean Center

Exciting plans are underway to open the first phase of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center this Spring in the former Beacon Shops located on NC Hwy 12 in Hatteras Village. The first phase of this multi-year project includes an interactive information and education center, as well as wetland trails for exploring the unique ecology of Hatteras Island. This series of noninvasive trails will lead to a launching area for kayaks and paddleboards at trail’s end.

The Ocean Center headquarters will house exhibits on the varied components of Hatteras Island’s ecosystem. These interactive exhibits will focus on marine life, shipwrecks, weather, shellfish, salt marsh ecology, and of course, sea turtles! As you enter the Center, a “larger than life” screen will display the underwater photography of local artist, Russell Blackwood. Next, head to the exhibit on sea turtles which will include a machine that simulates x-rays and probes, allowing visitors to learn about the biology of sea turtles while making the connection between sea turtle maladies and the environment’s impact. In addition to playing “Sea Turtle Veterinarian,” visitors will have an opportunity to learn about nesting habits and rehabilitation procedures for the sea turtles of Hatteras Island. From there, visitors can explore a fishing exhibit set up in conjunction with the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and Captain Ernie Foster of the Albatross Fleet. This exhibit will focus mainly on charter and commercial fishing, with the addition of beach and pier fishing in the future. As you make your way back around to the entrance, take a minute to check out the interactive whiteboard with daily updates on weather, tides, and island happenings. If you’d like to enjoy a Hatteras Island Ocean Center souvenir, choose from a few Ocean Center choice goods and be on your way to explore the wetland trails!

The second phase of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center will include a state-of-the-art pier and pier house located on NC Hwy 12 in the same vicinity as the former General Mitchell Motel in Hatteras Village. The pier house is expected to include a restaurant, other food vendors, a covered playground, an arcade, a public bathhouse, tackle shop, equipment rental, indoor and outdoor exhibits, classrooms, research areas, and a wildlife rehabilitation area. This phase is still in the very beginning stages as funding is being pursued.

Stay tuned for updates and make plans to stop by the Hatteras Island Ocean Center on your next visit to Hatteras Island! Visit www.hioceancenter.org or follow them on Facebook


03/20/13

The Graveyard 100 Ultramarathon Results are in!

On Saturday, March 9th, runners set out to conquer 100 miles of Outer Banks terrain from Corolla to Hatteras village without knowing which 100 miles they would traverse. Due to strong storms earlier in the week, causing NC Hwy 12 to close intermittently for days, the 100-miler turned into an out-and-back course 4 hours after the start of the race due to road conditions south of the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet. Runners ran up to the bridge then headed back to Corolla in 15-20 mph headwinds, where after passing the finish line they had to run 2 additional miles out the beachfront and back to complete the course.

The first place seat goes to Valmir Nunes of Ebensburg, PA who finished in 13 hours, 48 minutes, and 34 seconds! Can we say AMAZING?!?! Connie Gardner of Medina, OH represented the ladies with a stong 15 hour, 33 minutes, 12 second finish! Congrats, Connie! Male 100k Champion Trevor Hall finished in 13 hours and 15 minutes! With the goal of the race being, “To make the most difficult race possible out of seemingly easy terrain,” we are elated that so many runners participated and were up for the challenge!

We are very proud of all of our runners this year, especially Danielle Ranno, the only Hatteras Island resident to participate in the race! Danielle finished in 24 hours, 57 minutes, and 19 seconds. Way to go, Danielle!!!

For Graveyard 100 inspiration, check out this year’s photo gallery and race results. Start training for for next year’s race which will take place on March 8th, 2014! “Will the Graveyard sink YOU?”


03/18/13

Easter Weekend on the Outer Banks

March 23-30th
Sea Turtle Egg Hunt, NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
Children will take part in a sea turtle program, come face to face with a young loggerhead turtle, and make a craft to take home. The program will conclude with an egg hunt on the Aquarium grounds as children search for eggs filled with treats! Event will be held rain or shine. $10, limit 25 participants. For ages 3-7. March 23 at 10:00 and March 30 at 9:30 & 11:00. Click here to reserve a spot!

March 26th
Paint a Beach Scene on ceramic for ages 7 and up, 4pm, Studio 12, Avon.
Carolyn will walk you through step by step on how to paint a beautiful beach scene on ceramics with glazes. $15 plus pottery ranging from $15 to $32. Click here to register.

March 27th
Glass Fusion Jewelry for ages 9 and up, 4pm, Studio 12, Avon.
Choose colorful eye popping jewels such rings, earrings or pendants. Class is $26 and includes all materials. Students can make more than one item for additional charge. Click here to register.

March 29th
10 Year Anniversary Party, 3-6pm, Studio 12, Avon.

Easter Arts & Crafts Show, Indian Town Gallery, 10am-5pm, Frisco.

March 29-30th
Fly Into Spring and Easter Eggstravaganza, Jockey’s Ridge Crossing, Nags Head.
Kick off the 2013 season with Kitty Hawk Kites! The Kite Festival will take place on both Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the largest living sand dune on the East Coast! Enjoy fresh spring air, high flying kites, and all around fun on the dunes. The Easter Eggstravaganza will take place at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing Shopping Center, across the street from the Kite Festival. The Easter Egg Hunts start at 11am on both Friday and Saturday. The hunts will be broken down by age groups: 6 & under and 7& up. Stick around for a picture with the Easter Bunny from 12:00-1:00pm. Both events are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

March 30th
Easter Eggstravaganza, Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo.
From 10am-2pm, participate in an Outer Banks spring tradition held in the midst of the beautiful spring blooms featuring an egg scavenger hunt, photo opportunities, a homemade bake sale, egg roll on the Great Lawn, story time, educational crafts, games, an Easter bonnet and hat contest, and more kid-geared fun.

Easter Eggstravaganza, Frisco Mini Golf and Go Karts, 1pm.

March 31th
Easter sunrise services at Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site, Avon Pier, and the former Lighthouse site in Buxton at 6:30am.

April 1st
7th Annual Hoppin’ Easter Egg Hunt, 11am-2pm, Avon.

Chicamacomoico Life-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum OPENS for 2013 Season!


03/15/13

Fan Photo Friday

One of the many reasons to vacation on Hatteras Island

If you’re in the right place (Hatteras Island) at the right time (during nesting season), you might be lucky enough to witness baby sea turtles hatching and making their journey home (to the sea).


Thanks to Vickie Kay Rowe Willard for submitting this photo to our Facebook page!

Sea turtles visit the Outer Banks in early to mid summer to lay eggs. The sea turtle nest cavities in the sand are 18-22 inches deep, on average, and contain between 75-150 ping pong-sized eggs. Those eggs hatch 55-80 days after they are laid. Most adult sea turtles nest every other year or every three years, laying 3-4 cluthes (nests) of eggs during nesting season (May-August).

Fun Fact:
Turtle crawl – The unique pattern left in the sand when a sea turtle crawls to or from the sea. Some people say that the pattern resembles tractor treads.

Things to keep in mind:
Do not crowd the nesting female – Sit quietly away from her – Do not shine any lights on or around her head, as she may abandon her effort to nest – No flash photography – Turn off outside and inside ocean-facing lights as sea turtles will head towards house lights instead of heading to the sea –

Check out N.E.S.T. on the Outer Banks for more information on sea turtles and how you can help while you’re here!


03/15/13

Hatteras Storytelling Festival: Yarn Tellin’, Foot Tappin’ – Hatteras Style

What exactly is a storytelling festival?
It’s often an annual event that features local, regional, and/or nationally recognized oral storytellers. Each storyteller is allotted an amount of time to share stories with their audience. The featured storytellers are often professional performing artists however; semi-professional or amateur storytellers may also be included in the festival.

What should you expect during the inaugural Hatteras Storytelling Festival?
The first-ever Hatteras Storytelling Festival, May 3rd-5th in Hatteras Village, will be a unique event for the Outer Banks as nothing like this has been done before on such a large scale. The 3-day festival presented by Our State magazine will feature one of America’s most celebrated storytellers, Connie Regan-Blake, as well as many other well-known and local storytellers alike. In addition to yarn tellin’, live music will be provided by Clifford Swain and Banjo Island for foot tappin’ Hatteras style! You will also have the opportunity to explore the quaint village of Hatteras. Make plans to visit local shops and galleries, enjoy Hatteras Island cuisine at local eateries, and mingle with local islanders.

Event Details:
Participating Storytellers include:
Connie Reagan-Blake – one of America’s most celebrated storytellers
Clyde Edgeron – author of 10 novels and numerous short stories including his recently published novel Night Train
Bland Simpson – author, storyteller, professor, and member of The Red Clay Ramblers
Tom Carlson – author of Hatteras Blues
Ben Cherry – AKA Blackbeard the Pirate

Click here for a schedule of events…
**Most events will take place at the Hatteras Civic Center, 56658 NC Hwy 12, Hatteras, NC, unless otherwise noted on the schedule.**

Get your tickets!
Full Festival Weekend, Friday-Sunday: $100
Friday only: $75
Saturday only: $75
Sunday only: FREE! Those with full festival weekend tickets will receive top priority to Sunday’s events.
Click here to purchase tickets…

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Outer Banks history and celebrate one of North Carolina’s most beautiful places! Click here to learn more about Hatteras Island…

Stay tuned for updates as the festival quickly approaches! We look forward to seeing you in May!

For more information visit: www.HatterasYarns.com


03/8/13

Bodie Island Lighthouse Set to Open Spring 2013

The National Park Service plans to open Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounced “body”) to the general public for guided climbing tours in late April to early May 2013. Bodie Island Lighthouse, located north of Oregon Inlet, has undergone an 18-month long restoration project aimed to restore and preserve this historical beacon and make it accessible to the general public after being closed for many, many years.

The beacon you see today as you enter the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, north of Oregon Inlet, was rebuilt in 1871 after being demolished during the Civil War in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops who feared the Union would use it to their advantage for navigation. Upon reconstruction, Bodie Island Lighthouse was partly built using materials left over from the “newest” Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Currituck Beach Lighthouse is considered its architectural twin.

Today this familiar black and white, horizontally striped structure stands 156 feet tall and is equipped with a first-order Fresnal lens. Its 160,000 candlepower beacon shines 19 miles over the ocean to safely guide mariners around the coast and through the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

Stay tuned for the much anticipated opening date of the Bodie Island Lighthouse! In the meantime, visit the Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitors Center located in the Double Keepers’ Quarters, just 6 miles south of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore entrance.


03/5/13

St. Patrick's Day Weekend on the Outer Banks



You might be LUCKY enough to be spending St. Patrick’s Day weekend on the Outer Banks…If this is the case, as luck would have it, there are a few festive events to attend so be sure to pack your green!

Indian Town Art Gallery St. Patrick’s Day Sale: Friday and Saturday, March 15th and 16th, Frisco.
The gallery will be open 10am-5pm with items marked 20-50% off with some items being offered below cost!

St. Baldrick’s Day on Hatteras Island: Saturday, March 16th, 3-6pm, Avon Fire Station, 40159 Harbor Road, Avon.
Help raise money for childhood cancer research! With a minimum $25 donation, participants will shave their heads to show support of children undergoing chemotherapy and will receive a 2013 St. Baldrick’s Day T-shirt! Bake sale goodies will be available for “non-shavees” as well! Don’t miss a fun event for a great cause! Be Brave and Shave!!! Sponsored by Avon Surf Shop and Kinnakeet Civic Association. For questions or more information about St. Baldrick’s Day, please call Jennifer Harmon at 252-305-2172.

Beer Tasting: Saturday, March 16th, 4pm, Lee Robinson’s General Store, Hatteras.

OBX Taste of the Beach: March 14-17th.
Four Days of FOODIE fun! This grand food festival will feature awesome cooking classes, brewery tours and tastings, multi-course fine wine dinners, oyster roasts, new NC BBQ Showdown, tapas crawls, beer-pairing dinners, and much more! Come see why Coastal Living magazine named it one of the TOP TEN Seafood and Wine Festivals in the Country! Tickets and more information are available at www.obxtasteofthebeach.com.

Kelly’s 24rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Sunday, March 17th.
We may not be full-blooded Irish, but we do host the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in North Carolina. Over 1,500 participants and approximately 10,000 spectators enjoy an afternoon filled with floats, live music, marching bands and creative marching, walking and motorized units. Wear your green and bring your luck to this Shamrock tradition. MP 11.5 – 10.5, Beach Road.

6th Annual Shamrock Car Show: March 14-17th, First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills.
Car enthusiasts start your engines for this Saint Patrick’s Day tradition! The 6th Annual Shamrock Car Show boasts plenty of activities for everyone including the Poker Run, Car, Bike and Truck Show, and more! www.firstflightcrusiers.com

Kelly’s 5th Annual Running of the Leprechauns 8K: Saturday, March 16, 8:30am.
Runners and walkers embark on an 8K point to point course including road and trail, for a share of Kelly’s “pot of gold”, Green Glory and fun! Awards and post race celebration and hospitality is held immediately following the race at Kelly’s Tavern, Nags Head. Click here for more info.